The mission of the SOC program is to equip graduate students with advanced up-to-date theoretical and methodological knowledge in sociology and anthropology. The program seeks to achieve its mission through a focus on the critical traditions and schools that constitute the core of sociology and anthropology and their developments to the present day. The program addresses the complexity of the interrelations between local Arab and global contexts, enabling students to conduct in-depth and critical research on contemporary social phenomena in Arab contexts and beyond. The program aims to contribute to sociological and anthropological knowledge from a modern Arab perspective.
One of the pillars of the DI's vision is to produce critical knowledge about Arab societies and cultures from specific Arab contexts while aiming too for a universal horizon of knowledge. The goals of the SOC program are derived from this pillar. They translate into a study program that aims to educate students to become productive and critical researchers, civil servants, and professionals in the third and private sectors in their countries of origin and internationally. The specific goals of the program are the following:
- Students will acquire an in-depth and critical knowledge of the main subfields of sociology and anthropology.
- Students will be able to design and conduct sociological and anthropological research projects independently.
- Students will be prepared to qualify for admission to PhD programs in leading universities around the world.
- Students will be prepared to qualify for working in the public as well as the third and private sectors in their home countries and international job markets.
- Students will have the reflective and critical abilities to locate major problems in their societies and cultures and engage with them publicly as active citizens committed to the public good.
These goals form the general framework of the program mission. In order to translate this into a concrete study plan, we determined a set of 20 program learning outcomes (PLOs), or objectives.
Program Structure (42 Credit Hours)
The program includes 42 credit hours distributed according to the structure described below.
Core Courses (15 Credit Hours)
Students are required to take the following courses (3 credit hours each)
- SOC 611 Theories of Sociology
- SOC 612 Theories of Anthropology
- SOC 613 Qualitative Methods
- SOC 614 Quantitative Methods
- SOC 616 Practicum
- SOC 615 Sociology and Anthropology of Arab Societies
- SOC 001 Critical Readings in English Sociological and Anthropological Texts
Note: This program does not offer any specialized tracks
Program Electives (6 Credit Hours):
- SOC 622 Gender in Arab Societies.
- SOC 625 Immigration and Citizenship.
- SOC 626 Sociology of the Arab Spring.
- SOC 627 Sociology of Violence.
- SOC 628 Visual Anthropology.
- SOC 629 Anthropology of Religions.
- SOC 630 Contemporary Issues in the Study of Migration.
- SOC 633 Contemporary theories in sociology and anthropology.
- SOC631 Marginalization and social inequality.
- SOC632 Transformations in rural communities.
- SOC 635 The Sociology of the body.
- SOC 636 Sociology of the Identity.
School Requirements (9 Credit Hours)
- SOC 601: Issues in Social Sciences and Humanities
All students are required to take SOC 601 (Issues in Social Sciences and Humanities) during their first semester.
Interdisciplinary Courses (6 Credit Hours)
- Students choose two courses (3 credit hours each) from the interdisciplinary courses listed below during their third semester. Please, note that additional courses can be added to this list:
- Experiences of Modernity in the Arab World
- Colonialism and Arab National Liberation Movements
- Civil Society: A Comparative Approach
- Gender, Identity, and Modernity in the Middle East
- Critical Readings in Modern and Contemporary Aesthetics: Sound, Image, and Text
- Political Economy of the Middle East
- Comparative Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice
- A History of Thoughts
Non-restricted Elective (3 Credit Hours)
Students can choose one elective course (3 credit hours) offered by another program in either School or the centers of the Institute (including the School of Public Administration and Economics).
Thesis Research (6 Credit Hours)
Students choose their thesis topics and research plans in consultation with their academic advisors. Research on a thesis, which is 12,000-18,000 words long, begins during the first academic year, and it is submitted by the end of the second academic year. The advisor meets with the student to discuss the thesis topic, hypotheses, and research designs and to offer feedback on the contributions of the thesis to the field of study. The advisor recommends a thesis supervisor who closely works with the student until the completion of the thesis.
A committee of two faculty members evaluates the thesis, then the student presents and defends the thesis before the same committee.